The royal spoke about the issue as he honoured the winners of this year’s Gender Balance Index.

It’s no secret that the UAE is on a big push for gender equality over the next few years.

In fact, the Emirates hopes to become one of world’s top 25 countries for gender equality by 2021.

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And this week, those helping further support the UAE in its mission were honoured for their work.

In a ceremony for this year’s Gender Balance Index, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the UAE, awarded those recognised with trophies.

gender balance council awards

During the event, the royal told attendees that “gender balance is an important element of the national agenda”, according to Dubai Media Office, and the UAE “considers both women and men as equal partners in national development”.

“Emirati men and women have always, and will continue to serve our country equally, inspired by the strong UAE culture of gender equality established by the late Sheikh Zayed,” Sheikh Mohammed added on Twitter following the ceremony.

Awards for the Index were broken down into three categories: Best Personality for Supporting Gender Balance, Best Federal Entity for Supporting Gender Balance, and the Best Initiative for Supporting Gender Balance.

The latter went to the the UAE Securities and Commodities Authority, with the trophy picked up HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy and chairman of the SCA Board of Directors.

HE Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri

The SCA took home the award for its Women in Boards initiative, which requires all public companies listed in the security markets to have female on their boards of directors.

Overall, the authority hopes to increase female representation on the boards of directors of public shareholding companies to 20 per cent by 2020.

The Best Federal Identity award went to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, with the trophy picked up by HE Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and chairwoman of the FCSA.

The authority scooped its win based on polls of 64,000 government employees, who were quizzed on entities’ decision-making, education and experience, and support for working mothers.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahya

The Best Personality category was taken out by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The minister was awarded for the “strong support he has provided to women in the diplomatic sector,” Dubai Media Office said, with women currently making up 20 per cent of diplomatic sector workers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

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Sheikh Abdullah is “a great supporter of this national priority”, Sheikh Mohammed added on social media.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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Images: Dubai Media Office